HC Deb 26 October 1943 vol 393 cc23-4
37. Mr. McNeil

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what qualifications for appointment as chairman of the Hydro-Electricity Board are possessed by the Earl of Airlie; and what experience he has had in industry in general and hydroelectricity in particular?

Mr. Johnston

Other members of the Board possess specialist qualifications of the kind referred to in the Question. The Chairman of the Board was invited to serve because of his wide administrative experience, which includes the posts of Chairman of the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board, Chairman of the British Legion in Scotland, and Deputy Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence in Scotland. In these and other posts he has served with conspicuous ability, and, in the opinion of my right hon. and gallant Friend the Minister of Fuel and Power and myself, we were fortunate in securing his services.

Mr. McNeil

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he has told me that this noble gentleman has no industrial experience at all?

Mr. Johnston

No, Sir, that was not my answer.

Mr. Shinwell

Would my right hon. Friend send this gentleman a copy of "Our Noble Families"?

Mr. Gallacher

In view of the Minister's well known and very low opinion of "our noble families," would he not have done better to choose someone who understood the business?

Mr. Johnston

This gentleman was appointed for his administrative capacity.